How Does Your Garden Grow?

It is a beautiful Saturday morning. I began the day with the daily exercises I learned in Saito Ninjitsu. I abandoned them for a while, along with all the other good habits and discipline that I had before I was going through my depression. But I am back now and the exercises feel good. I still am not strong enough to do them all yet. But I will be. The exercises will help me get there. They did once and they will again. I know this the way I know how to breathe.

Rather than listening to the news lately, I have turned to books on tape for my drive to and from work. The two I started with are “Seal Team Six” by Steve Wasdin and “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell. Boy, if I ever needed insight on the standard I should be setting for myself in work and living, these books are excellent books to start with. Thank goodness I am in a place in body, mind and spirit where I can actually resonate with what they have to say. As recent as 3-4 months ago, I would not have been ready to hear them. More about these books later… I have to let them sink in a bit before I can write about them.

For today, though, I am sitting on my porch in my favorite lounging pants and keep-my-feet-soft socks surrounded by mint, cilantro and basil. I am ready to start a well-deserved week off. I have worked hard for my company, brought it some new opportunities that I hope will not only be productive but fruitful. The hours have been long and complex. It is now time to rest.

I have a wonderful calendar on my desk to help me remember this need for balance – “Women Who Do Too Much 2015.” I have had it on my desk for two years now. The little notes in it greet me every day. Some of them put me in my place and some of them remind me that there is a better way. They constantly prompt me to remember balance. So….this week I rest, play, read, write and cook.

I have begun to define a new relationship with food. For the longest time, I turned to it for comfort. I would ask it to…Fill me up. Make me feel whole. Keep me from crying. Make me feel good.

I am learning there is another way. I began this new relationship slowly. I started with the soup books on my shelves. The ones I never used. When I was money tight, the soups were cheap to make and delicious. And instead of binge watching TV shows on Netflix, I got up off the couch and watched the soup. I know it sounds odd, but standing and walking around my kitchen for 1-2 hours cooking was actually the kind of ‘workout’ that my body needed after all day in a work chair. For a former Olympic-caliber athlete, this was humbling.

Soups in the winter turned to salads in the spring and summer. Then I turned to Dr. Sara. She graduated from Harvard Medical School and helps people have a new relationship with food and their bodies. I am just coming off a 2-month detox. It is not a diet. It is a way of building a relationship with food. Seeing what foods help my body and which foods don’t. Though I am not diabetic, I learned how to take my blood sugar level every day to see how food impacts my body. As a women in her late 40’s anticipating the ‘change of life’ and all the hormonal and metabolic changes that this brings, knowing more about how my body works seemed a wise thing to learn about. I also learned that my body is mostly acidic, but it could become alkaline with the food I choose to eat. I learned how to cook and eat foods that were normally not part of my routine and see how they are better for me than caffeine, sugar and other foods. I am more selective of where my food comes from, how I prepare it and how I eat it.

Who knew that chocolate tea would become my favorite tea?! For a person that does not really drink tea or coffee, this was mind blowing. And fun to learn this late in life.

So…mint, cilantro and basil are my first adventure into growing my own organic garden. I look forward to great sauces, salsas, teas and perhaps a mojito or two.

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